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12 Reasons to Visit Upstate New York

12 Reasons to Visit Upstate New York


If you are looking for the perfect staycation or road trip not far from home this fall, check out a visit to upstate New York. Located north of New York City in the Hudson Valley, Westchester County is the perfect place to socially-distance explore upstate New York. Home to historic and tradition-rich towns, apple picking, hayrides, and more, fall is the perfect time to visit.  Here are a few highlights:




Dia: Beacon Museum: Featured as one of the can’t miss stops on the New York Times’ 2019 Summer Art Trek, this stunning museum in Dutchess County features art from the likes of Andy Warhol, Louise Bourgeois and John Chamberlain. Due to COVID-19 precautions, admission to Dia Beacon is by advance reservation only.



Walkway Over the Hudson: The world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge connects Poughkeepsie & Highland over the Hudson River. This 1.28-mile bridge welcomes over 500,000 visitors each year. Originally made as a railway bridge in 1889, the Walkway Over the Hudson is a piece of history.  After a nice walk, head to Farmer’s & Chefs Restaurant- a local restaurant specializing in farm-to-table, zero pesticides, and fillers from ingredients from their urban farm on the property. If you are looking for overnight accommodation, Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa is a 75 acre Hudson River estate that offers a world-class spa, a farm-to-table restaurant, an organic kitchen garden and orchard, trails, and an animal rescue sanctuary.



Appalachian Trail: Head outdoors and see over 30 miles of the National Appalachian Scenic Trail which passes through southeastern Dutchess County. The area includes 4,000 acres of protected parkland with hiking, backpacking, and five overnight-use areas. The trail has a new 1,600-foot-long boardwalk spanning the Great Swamp Watershed and several sitting and observation areas for guests.


Cheer on the pros during the 120th Annual U.S. Golf Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, now moved to September 17-20, 2020.


Westchester Magazine’s 10th Annual Wine & Food Festival, typically held over the summer, is now set to return September 22-27 and will welcome over 100 of Westchester’s finest restaurants. This is the perfect way to try some of Westchester County’s best eats.


Farms of all kinds dot Westchester County, offering fall activities like apple picking, wagon rides, and harvest festivals. Many of the farms in Westchester are family-owned and operated, some dating back 300 years. Along the 17-mile trail that connects 13 farms and orchards, there’s no shortage of things to do.


And while there’s nothing like walking in through the fall leaves, try a next-level leaf-peeping opportunity: a helicopter tour soaring over the Hudson Valley. This bird’s-eye view of Westchester County’s colorful foliage is made during a Wings Air helicopter ride.


Westchester has emerged as a hub for craft beverage enthusiasts, with spots like River Outpost Brewing located in Peekskill, Wolf & Warrior in White Plains, Decadent Ales in Mamaroneck Sing Sing Kill in Ossining and Captain Lawrence Brewing Company in Elmsford.


Westchester County is also home to a cidery and a micro-winery. South Salem Winery produces small batches of hand-crafted wine in the beautiful surroundings of the Gossett Bros. Nursery while Hardscrabble Cider on Half Moon Farm and Orchard epitomizes handcrafted, farm-to-bottle beverages with the dedication of a family-run business.


A former nun convent turned Westchester’s newest luxury hotel, The Abbey Inn & Spa is a boutique hotel featuring 42 distinctive guest rooms and suites, a full-service spa, and the Apropos farm-to-table restaurant delights with a Mediterranean-inspired menu that celebrates the bounty of the Hudson Valley. Located on historic Fort Hill, where Washington’s army set up a key lookout post in the Revolutionary War, the former 1902 convent of the Episcopal Sisters of Saint Mary’s has been beautifully repurposed as a secular retreat for today’s discerning travelers. Located just one hour from midtown Manhattan, The Abbey Inn feels a world away.





Starting in September, The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze fills Van Cortland Manor’s historic grounds with a  display of more than 7,000 illuminated jack o’ lanterns- making it the tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event.


Over 200 years ago, Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” introduced the world to unforgettable characters like the Headless Horseman, Ichabod Crane and Katarina Van Tassel. These days, from October to November, the villages of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown brings the classic tale back to life with dramatic performances by master storytellers. Visitors can tour the 300-year-old Philipsburg Manor that transforms into a fearsome landscape, the Old Dutch Church from Irving’s tale and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, with famously historic graves, including Andrew Carnegie, William Rockefeller and Alexander Hamilton’s children, Eliza, Angelica and James.


 For more information, please visit: dutchesstourism.com

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